Holding out for a hero! Who’s good enough for No.9?

Posted on February 5th, 2010 | 63 Comments |

So who fancies living up to this then?
So who fancies living up to this then?
A topic doing the rounds at the moment with regards our beloved club, is something that’s been mooted all season by Newcastle fans. One of the most revered privileges bestowed upon many a Tyneside legend, is to wear the No.9 shirt and to experience the adulation of the black and white masses.

Of course wearing it, is only part of the ‘legend’ process, the striker has to perform and hopefully do what No.9s do best and that’s score goals. We haven’t always had someone to fill the shirt, and in days before squad numbers, the like of Rob McDonald and Frank Pingel were blessed with the opportunity to say they wore the famous shirt. And as we pretty much all agreed in the our recent review article, we’re struggling at the moment for somone to do it justice.

It seems like Chris Hughton also agrees and the absence of the No.9 shirt at the moment is a conscious decision on his part. According to him:

“It’s been a decision – and my decision – and it’s a bit of everything. When I came to this club I was made aware – not that I didn’t already know – what the number nine meant to this club and it’s a combination of a few things. For some, I think it can be a heavy number to carry, a burden if you like, and wearing it is an achievement which I want somebody to grow into. I want somebody to earn the right to be Newcastle’s number nine.”

“It’s one of the most iconic shirts around and it’s something I’ve done deliberately.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things, but it’s been my decision.”

“We have a lot of strikers here and I’m quite sure every single one would have wanted to wear the No 9.

Though he stopped short of saying that we don’t have someone in the current crop who is capable of making it their own:

“I don’t want to suggest that the strikers we’ve got here aren’t worthy of that position or that number.”.

You don’t need to suggest that Chris, we already know.

Other reports slightly contradict Chris’ stance and comments from Leon Best, imply the shirt was his if he’d wanted it:

“They showed me the numbers that were available when I signed and the nine was there, but I took the 20. The No 9 shirt has to be earned here.”

“It isn’t like the No 9 shirt at other clubs. You have to earn it. You can’t just walk in and take it. There is so much history there that I didn’t want it.”

“I’d like it in the future, but I want to prove that I’m worthy first. I’d like to be given it rather than take it.”

Fair play to the young fella and unless he turns out to be the new Andy Cole, it’s fair to say the No.9 shirt should stay safely on it’s peg for now. Until we get promoted and sign Torres at least…

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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63 Responses

  1. Best didn’t actually say he was offered it; just that he recognised that he had to earn it. Too right.

    To be honest, no striker playing in the CCC should wear it. To earn that shirt you have to be the club’s lead striker in a GOOD premiership season, banging them in against the best teams in the world.

    That could take a few years yet, and quite right too.

  2. I’m still confident that we can now see what some of our ‘reluctant wingers’ like Guthrie can do now they’re allowed back into the central position. With that, Routledge arriving and Jonas starting to show some good deliveries, I think we may finally get to see what our shedload of ‘quite good big lads’ can do.

    Any of ’em good enough? Don’t know. In order of likelihood of earning Number 9 first, I’d say:

    1. Someone we sign in the summer
    2. Best
    3. Loverboy
    4. Carroll (‘cos he’s young and learning fast)
    5. Ameobi
    6. Ranger (only down because it’ll take him longest; I reckon he’s got the talent)

  3. Whumps – according to a couple of different papers, he was quoted as saying he was offered it.

    Alreet it was The Mail…

  4. Whumps – gotta disagree. I think Ranger just needs more games and he’ll become our best option.

  5. Speaking of No.9, did I ever mention that I work with Alan Foggon’s young ‘un.

    Sits two seats away and here I was totally oblivious that he was the son of a player that scored a goal in the cup final the last time we won owt of significance.

    Barmy, eh?

    The ‘rugby love’ he displays threw me off the scent.

  6. someone posted this on eds dont know if its true like.

    News from the Faroe Islands, Newcastle United have signed Jóhan Símun Edmundsson on a free transfer from B68 in the Faroe Islands.

    He is a real prospect at 18 years. Position attacking midfield, winger and forward.

    He has signed a contract till the summer.

  7. didnt quite like A.SMITH quote in E/C;;we based our season to defend,keep it 0-0 and hope can nick a goal and get a 1-0 win.hope thats not what we are going to try tonight

  8. hmmm we’ve had some decent strikers wear the no9 shirt but we’ve had some complete stinkers before as well – not bothered who wears it but our current crop will more than likely join the stinkers such as Fereday etc

  9. Johno Toon

    It says that Colin Calderwood watched Faroe Islands under 21 win against Russia under 21. He then went on trial late last year and he has now signed for Newcastle until the summer.

  10. Whumpie @1…….

    Best’saying he was shown the available numbers and decided not to plump for 9.


    A wise decision I’d say as by taking it, expectations of him would have placed such pressure on him and by not doing so, he’s incentivising himself to be awarded it.

    If that was his intention, I’d say there’s more to teh guy than meets the eye.

    I’d say earn it Leon and open your account with us by following the debut performances of MacDonald and Mick Quinn by bagging a hat-trick. Do that and you’ll become something special…..

  11. I posted this on the previous thread but as the thread has moved on thought it was (or not as the case may be) repeated.

    I was thinking about the criticism of your headlines and feel they aren’t sensational enough. I’ve therefore thought of a few other possibilities.

    1. Chris Hugheton has gay love affair with John Terry
    2. Mike Ashley named as slimmer of the month.
    3. Pedro claims he was born too handsome and had to have ugly operation when young.
    4. Messi and Kaka reveal that their lives ambition is to play for the Toon
    5. Ashley thought he was buying Sunderland
    6. St. James Park.com built on an ancient cursed Druidic burial ground.

    Just a few to be going on with and they don’t have to be anywhere near truth, I’m sure your bloggers can come up with a few more.

  12. The No.9 nine shirt has been worn by many toon legends, but how many wastes of space have also graced it? I can’t be bothered to look it up myself as I’ve had a liquid lunch. It is a shirt that should be kept until someone deserves it, but who makes that decision and on what basis? Andy Cole wore it, but he was hardly an Alan Shearer when he joined us. If we don’t go out and buy a Messi, who would probably be a no.8 in old money anyway, or a kaka or a raul who come with a good CV, how would one of our young guns actually manage to get his hands on it?

  13. Stubbins was a legend but it was the whole ‘WWII’ thing wasn’t it, where his stats aren’t as highly regarded?

    I like Waddler’s spelling in that article – “Chris Waddled”.

    My old man would always say Super Mac.

  14. Lesh – I’m being pedantic, but he says he was shown the numbers that were available, i.e. not being used. That’s different from being shown the ones he could pick from.

    But it’s irrelevant, and I like what the guy said. Good sense for a youngun.

    BBM: I think Ranger may come good, but what I meant was that there’s no way he’s going to become a top-scoring prem striker in the next couple of years – he’s just too young. My list was for the FIRST (or next, I suppose) to get it, and I just don’t see any of our current crop being good enough soon enough to lead the line in the prem.

    Given the sense shown in the window just gone, if we do get promoted I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the new money went on an established striker; possibly from abroad.

    Hope not, though – I’d love to see one (any) of our current boys whack in another dozen by the end of the season and get that 9 on their backs in the prem next season.

  15. BBM – just realised I can’t make the Bristle away game – I’ll be very drunk in an Austrian bar at that time. You’ll have to get me that pint another time.


  16. Whumps – I disagree again, after all my agreeing yesterday… 8O

    I think if you look at the likes of Owen, and Rooney, they benefitted from being given decent runouts. I think Ranger has the same sort of stamp, even though clearly he’s probably not in their league. He is composed while still being eager. He rarely wastes the ball and I think the goals will inevitably come. So give him the games and let him develop, is my opinion.

    As for the ‘Best not taking the No.9 shirt’ thing, I agree with Lesh. I read it like it WAS available, he chose not to pick it up and that he’d prefer to earn it and be given it the next time they’re doled-out.

  17. Nee bother, I’ll see you for a pint at least for the Preston game.

    We’ll have a wander into Beyond so you can ogle the nekked young lasses.

  18. Cheers for the link, batty.

    Looking at that list there aren’t too many donkeys who’ve worn the shirt.
    Peter Withe, Imre Varadi and definitely Paul Goddard don’t deserve the shirt. Chris Waddle is a funny one. I always thought he had 7, but I guess that was Keegans number when he played.

  19. I think the No 9 status really only kicked in once Shearer retired. Martins didn’t do it anything like justice, and who the hell can after Big Al?

    Anything short of 20 goals a season is not even close.

    Anyone heard any team news yet? Dying to know the line-up; it’ll say a lot about CH’s attitude to the game. I’ve got a feeling he may start with a 5-man midfield to absorb the early pressure and sus them out, then switch to 4-4-2 once we’ve sussed them a bit.

    Sorry, but that’d probably mean 2 out of Smith, Nolan and Butt in there. I know Butt gets stick, but we do tend to stay tighter when he’s on, even if our attack is dull – and he’s a good man to have on there when there are decent wingers and a proper attacking midfielder (like Guthrie) to pass to.

  20. Ah MT, I’d argue they were far more deserving than some others. Varadi was actually a canny hand.

    Not sure about Peter Withe but I thought my old man said he was half-decent.

    I always liked Goddard, even though his best years were away from the town.

  21. Whumpie says:
    February 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    If Hughton starts with a 5 man midfield to absorb early pressure he wants sacked!

    Were at home – We shopuld be starting the game well, putting them under pressure early and getting them on the back foot.

  22. STUART79;here here,thing is he was a defender when playing was def/coach,a.smith said it all today “we started season to defend,and try to nick goal win 1-0,about sums it up

  23. Micky Toon says:
    February 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm
    Cheers for the link, batty.

    Looking at that list there aren’t too many donkeys who’ve worn the shirt.
    Peter Withe, Imre Varadi and definitely Paul Goddard don’t deserve the shirt. Chris Waddle is a funny one. I always thought he had 7, but I guess that was Keegans number when he played.
    <<<<<exactley what i thought m8

  24. I’ll give you Viradi as my memories of him are hazy and mostly down to old video clips. But I really don’t rate Goddard.

    Whumpie – I’m not sure I agree about the status of the No. 9 shirt. There have been some very good names on that shirt, so to speak, technically anyone before Quinn never had their name on the shirt.
    I wonder if we should retire it like they do in American sports, ie, Michael Johnson and the 32 basketball shirt for the Chicago Bulls.
    On second thoughts, that’s just cobblers. I’m sure there will be another player equal to or hopefully better than Shearer.

  25. BATTY,asked before how is your lad after sauce caper,ok i hope,might loose his taste buds for a while like

  26. Micky Toon says:
    February 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    “Looking at that list there aren’t too many donkeys who’ve worn the shirt.
    Peter Withe, Imre Varadi and definitely Paul Goddard don’t deserve the shirt.”

    Peter Withe wasn’t a bad player at all, Micky. He might have been a double European Cup winning player too if it wasn’t for Trevor Francis. He still won it with Villa though.

  27. if peter withe was playing today & in his prime he’d be an england regular with a value of £20m ish – a very very good centre foward.

  28. Stuart – hmm. I totally get what you’re saying, and it’s the ‘Toon Way’ an all, but…

    That approach of absorbing pressure then pressing forward is a lot to do with why we’re still top, and if it ain’t broke…

    Don’t know. I just don’t think a total change in approach is a good idea. Better to improve the attacking element of what we’ve got, which is what I think Best and Routledge are all about.

    Let’s see what happens – but don’t throw a wobbler if I’m right about how he starts! Frankly, as long as he doesn’t STAY with 4-5-1 at home, I’m happy. At some point I really want to see the wingers pinging ’em in to two – possibly 3- strikers. Goals gotta come!

  29. ROY CROPPER,you asked me last week about a blogger I/HUNT if its the lad that was from west-end was born near where i lived then yes,he was a nice guy new hisfooty a bit too why?

  30. icedog sorry m8 been rushing aboot he,s fine m8 he eats currys what u could start ya fire with lol

  31. Just think at home we should be on the front foot.

    If we sit back at home toabsorb early pressure from Cardiff we must be the only home team who go about things like that.

    We’ll see though. Could be a decent atmosphere tonight which could influence the way the team play.

  32. ICEDOG,i thought i could remember you talking to him on uncle ed’s regarding the westend and stuff but wasn’t sure – was just wondering if it was you.

  33. i batty my lad is just the same would bath in the stuff if he could,wonder sometimes if he came from my loins,keep giving wor lassdirty looks like

  34. spew – would you like to meet before the game to talk tactics ect & i’ll let you buy me a couple of drinks ?

  35. Roy Cropper says:
    February 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm
    spew – would you like to meet before the game to talk tactics ect & i’ll let you buy me a couple of drinks ?
    <<<<<< ha ha ya tappin b@stard roy

  36. Roy Cropper says:
    February 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm
    spew – would you like to meet before the game to talk tactics ect & i’ll let you buy me a couple of drinks ?

    Not really Roy, but thanks for asking.

  37. pitty about that spew – coz i could of educated you in football & drinking matters.


  38. Well I’m certainly happy that my personal life is of interest to you batty.

    I feel like John Terry…

  39. Roy @ 43 it was nice to see you offering the hand of friendship its not your fault Stuart turned it down. ;)
    Batty @ 44 wtf are you doing lad knocking around with JT’s missus :)

  40. Stuart79 says:
    February 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm
    Well I’m certainly happy that my personal life is of interest to you batty.

    I feel like John Terry…
    <<<< lol well it was only what u told us it dusent bother u dus it ,dont be ashamed where your from stu cos iam not lol

  41. Whumpie,

    I think John Terry would be up for anything by all accounts…


    I’m more than happy with my background. It was a accident of birth where I was born – To a Geordie dad and Lancashire mother.

    Not sure what it makes me mind.

  42. Just think.. in a few years the tabloids will be blowing up stories about wor Tayls’ love life instead of Terry…

    Which gives me an idea for a quick discussion to end Friday…

    Which Toon player has the fittest WAG? You just don’t see or hear owt about that with our lot.. must be because they get enough to write about with this club anyway…

  43. that’s why he’s not bothered about ripping off us proper geordies (pennies for your gold) coz he’s not from the same stock = shitbag.

  44. Well, compared to me everyone has a better excuse for being Toon. Born in Hertfordshire, lived briefly in Newcastle while at college, then back down here except for stints in Canada and Cumbria. Hate the South East, love the North East, can’t get a job there. Buggrit.

    Caught Magvirus mostly in Cumbria – the only time when I could get to SJP and afford a ticket now and again!

    Still, once you’re infected, that’s yer lot…